Local adopters aim to inspire others to adopt with new campaign

Date Released - 19/01/2024

Adoptive parents have been sharing their special family moments in a bid to encourage more people to consider adopting.

The campaign ‘I became a parent’ launched by Adoption Now aims to highlight the positives that come with becoming or growing a family through adoption. It’s a chance for adoptive parents to share their personal stories about when they felt like Mummy’, ‘Daddy’, ‘Papa’, ‘Mama’, ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ for the first time! The warm fuzzy, funny and interesting moments that made their family, their family.

One mum said “I became mummy when at 12:15am my eldest was wide awake, so I went to check on him and four minutes later he’s in my bed. I tried keeping my eyes closed so he’d think I was asleep but all I could feel was his breathe on my face as he was checking if I was actually awake. He was pointing at my eyes and nose and telling me what they were. At 2:30am all I could do was laugh, he’s a funny little chap. Sleep’s overrated anyway.”

Another said: “I became a mummy when he came to the door to greet us for the first time with his Foster Carer, he looked straight at us and said, "mummy and daddy". It was a magical and very special moment as we had already fallen in love with him before we met him based on everything we had read and been told by those around him. He had been sent pictures of us and had been told about us prior to us visiting. The rest is history and we have since gone on to adopt again.”

The campaign has launched at a time when people coming forward to adopt is at an all-time low, especially for some of the region’s most vulnerable children. There are currently more children waiting for families than there are adoptive families being approved.

Councillor Bill Fairfoull, Tameside Council’s Deputy Executive Leader with a responsibility for Children and Families, was given a fantastic start in life thanks to the love, support and stability provided by his adoptive parents.

He said: “I have fond memories of those special family moments that were provided by my adoptive parents throughout my childhood. I strongly encourage people in Tameside who are considering adoption to find out more to begin their adoption journey, which could create those magical moments that make life special.”

Katrina Williams, Head of Service at Adoption Now, said: “Now more than ever, we need people to come forward and consider adopting our wonderful children. The national database has less than 600 families available (and often when contacted they are already in the process of having children join their family) and Adoption Now alone works with over 120 new children every year who need a family. We have children waiting for families from all walks of life, different ages, different backgrounds, different needs and some that come in duos or trios; but what they all have in commons is difficult starts to life and the need to be given the opportunity to grow and thrive to reach their full potential whatever that may be.”

Unfortunately, some children can wait longer than others to be adopted. These children experiencing delays in finding a home include children aged five or over, children with additional and/or complex needs, brother and sister groups, and those from a Black and mixed heritage. Compared to children without these characteristics, children from these groups wait an average of eight months longer from entry into care to adoption, a total of 32 months. Those aged 5 years and over have the longest average journey from entry into care to adoption, an average of 41 months, 13 months longer than the average for all children.

Katrina added: “There’s a common misconception that adoption may mean missing out on those important first experiences for a child and their family, but that’s simply not the case! Even our older children will have firsts that can be shared with them, like their first day at school, their first trip to the seaside or swimming baths and importantly those personal times that make you a family – like your first movie night. So, if you could consider adopting, please do get in touch with us.  Every family is beautiful and unique and we really want to celebrate that!”

Adoption Now is the Regional Adoption Agency for Bolton, Bury, Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham Rochdale, Tameside and beyond. If you would like to find out more visit www.adoptionnow.org.uk  or call 01204 336096.